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ERIC Number: EJ915215
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-1478-2103
Wittgenstein as Exile: A Philosophical Topography
Peters, Michael A.
Policy Futures in Education, v8 n3-4 p446-456 2010
Exilic thought is a kind of uprooted thought developed away from "home" under conditions of displacement and uncertainty, often in a different mother tongue, language tradition and culture. Exilic thought is sometimes the self-imposed discipline of the "stranger" who develops his or her identity as an "alien" or immigrant against the conventions of a host culture and from the perspective of an outsider. The motif OF? the exile-stranger in a foreign land finding his or her way about for the first time is fable-ized in ancient accounts of "first contacts" and early cultural exchanges. "Exile" often marks a complex ambivalence to one's own home culture and, therefore, also to questions of one's own national, cultural and personal identity. Exile is one of the central and most powerful motifs of the intellectual in the twentieth century: it describes a profound existential condition of cultural estrangement, and sometimes alienation, that defines identity in terms of migration, movement, departure, homelessness. It prefigures a notion of thought that is "nomadic", formed in a different context, and laced with observations that at once make the familiar strange and the strange familiar. Exile was a condition that Wittgenstein thought necessary to a form of life as philosopher. This idea took on a particular hue when Wittgenstein "returned" to philosophy (at least in a formal sense) to focus upon cultural questions. It is as though Wittgenstein's focus on cultural questions--on questions that stand at the heart of human culture--rather than questions of strict logic, "required" a simulation of the anthropologist's "observer-participant" attitude and sense of detachment in order to analyze "language-games" and develop "perspicuous representations". (Contains 13 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A